11 December 2014

The "Road to Dignity by 2030" includes access to information and an open Internet

IFLA's response to the Synthesis Report of the UN Secretary-General on the Post-2015 Development Agenda: "The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet"

Access to information...Intellectual Property reform...access to open data...affordable access to ICTs.  These are some of the important issues IFLA and those of us in the greater library and information community are grappling with in a variety of ways.

IFLA has been working with the international library community—as well as civil society and member states—to develop its position and help ensure that crucial elements such as access to information are included in the UN post-2015 Development Agenda. Throughout this process, it is important that libraries are seen as being part of the conversation.

Last week, an advance "Synthesis Report of the UN Secretary-General On the Post-2015 Agenda" was released. The Report outlines the priorities of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and has a serious objective: to transform our economies, our environment, and our societies. IFLA welcomes the Report and the inclusion of access to information, and encourages the United Nations to recognise the role of access and skills as an essential pillar in the transformational agenda for sustainable development.

Unfortunately, we are disappointed that the report lacks substance on the potential of ICTs for development.

Read IFLA's full response: [PDF] | [DOC]

We encourage the UN and its Member States to use the Lyon Declaration during the next stage of intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda to inform the inclusion of access to information, and the skills to use it effectively by:

  • Acknowledging the public's right to access information and data, while respecting the right to individual privacy;
  • Recognising the important role of local authorities, information intermediaries and infrastructure such as ICTs and an open Internet as a means of implementation;
  • Adopting policy, standards and legislation to ensure the continued funding, integrity, preservation and provision of information by governments, and access by people;
  • Developing targets and indicators that enable measurement of the impact of access to information and data.

IFLA has already released a Toolkit to support library institutions and associations and other civil society organisations to advocate for access to information in the context of post-2015 UN Development Agenda—thereby empowering signatories of the Lyon Declaration to make the voice of the library community heard on a national level.

What next?

Following the publication of the final synthesis report at the end of December 2014, IFLA will produce a revised version of the Toolkit with specific talking points and examples to support meetings with member state representatives that library associations and institutions will organise in early 2015.

The final synthesis report will become the baseline for the negations and meetings that will take place throughout 2015, in the lead up to the Special Summit on Sustainable Development. IFLA will be participating in some of the meetings, including:

  • High-level thematic debate on the means of implementation for the post-2015 development agenda (February 2015)
  • Millennium Development Goals Report 2015 (July 2015)
  • Millennium Development Goals Gap Task Force Report (September 2015)
  • Special Summit on Sustainable Development (September 2015)

Access to information, Access to knowledge, post-2015, Lyon Declaration, ICTs, Intellectual property

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